Category Archives: Free speech

Wichita Tea Party

Below are a few of the pictures I took at the Tea Party in Wichita yesterday afternoon. Officials estimate about 1,000 people showed up, but I’m not sure how they could count them. There was a steady stream of people coming and going the whole time I was there.

The event was supposed to last from4:15 to 8:00 p.m. But by 6:00 most of the interesting speakers had finished, and the crowd was beginning to break up. That’s when I left, too.

It was encouraging to see that many people exercising their right to protest their government. Even so, I fear that unless the Tea Party movement can coalesce around a clearly articulated set of core beliefs — a platform, if you will — it will sputter and fade away. What I heard yesterday was just a bunch of anti-government whining. We need not merely to¬† complain, but to offer an alternative.

This shot gives a fair indication of the size of the crowd.

This shot gives a fair indication of the size of the crowd.

This gal was riding around the perimeter of the crowd shouting, "The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming!" Interesting, but I suspect she would have drawn more attention by doing a Lady Godiva re-enactment.

This gal was riding around the perimeter of the crowd shouting, "The taxes are coming! The taxes are coming!" Interesting, but I suspect she would have drawn more attention by doing a Lady Godiva re-enactment.

This sign captures the mood perfectly.

This sign captures the mood perfectly.

Notice the sign the dog is wearing. Maybe he should run for Congress -- he's certainly qualified.

Notice the sign the dog is wearing. Maybe he should run for Congress -- he's certainly qualified.

This senior citizen had an eloquent way of expressing his frustration. Notice what he's wearing around his neck.

This senior citizen had an eloquent way of expressing his frustration. Notice what he's wearing around his neck.

Senior citizens weren't the only ones complaining. This sign was a perfect melding of hip and history. But you have to think about it to get it.

Senior citizens weren't the only ones complaining. This sign was a perfect melding of hip and history. But you have to think about it to get it.

Apply Fairness to NPR

Brent Bozell argues that if the the Fairness Doctrine is applied to conservative talk radio, it ought to apply equally to NPR.

Liberals would like to “crush Rush” and his conservative compatriots by demanding each station balance its lineup ideologically. But since when has NPR ever felt any pressure to be balanced, even when a majority of taxpayers being forced to subsidize it are center-right?

Why no Fairness Doctrine attention to NPR? It is because those preaching “fairness” on the radio are hypocrites.

“Fairness”? Or Censorship?

Lance Fairchok looks at the Democrats’ renewed attempts at reinstating the Fairness Doctrine to “restore balance” to the airwaves. He sees a more sinister motive at work.

If they succeed, media reform will inevitably morph from an attack on talk radio to an assault on cable, to new print “standards,” and to broadcast “guidelines.” It is all about control and the totalitarian instincts the socialist left gravitates to, they cannot help it, it is in their bones. This is not a slippery slope, it is a roller coaster ride to censorship and if the left defines the rules, the freedom of speech we enjoy now will be a thing of the past, buried in regulation, litigation and outright intimidation.

Despite all the flowery talk about balance and fairness, a single question should force us to think carefully about the real impact of imposing this rule: Who will determine whether broadcast content is “fair”? Why, faceless government bureaucrats, of course. Unelected, accountable to no one, and impossible to fight–except by whatever political power happens to be dominating government at the time. In other words, the “Fairness Doctrine” would become just another weapon of political control. The only casualty would be the marketplace of free ideas, so crucial to an open and well-informed society.

Free Speech in Canada

If you haven’t been following the Mark Steyn case in recent weeks, be sure to read Jacob Laksin’s piece on Frontpagemag.com. Steyn wrote the blockbuster book, America Alone, a couple of years ago, exposing the decline of Europe under the onslaught of Muslim immigration. An excerpt from the book was published in Canada’s Maclean’s Magazine. A group of Muslims was offended by the material in the article, so they filed suit in one of Canada’s infamous “Human Rights” Tribunals.

The proceedings have been such a mockery of justice that Steyn actually prefers to lose this case, in order to gain a greater victory later.

We want to lose so we can take it to a real court and if necessary up to the Supreme Court of Canada and we can get the ancient liberties of free-born Canadian citizens that have been taken away from them by tribunals like this.